Sydney - South Australia batsman Tom Cooper was subjected to
stringent questioning at the inquest into the death of his team-mate and friend
Phillip Hughes, and left the witness stand in tears.
The inquest, being held at the New South Wales coroner's
court, is to determine what could have been done to prevent Hughes' death two
years ago, and how to go about preventing another such incident.
But Cooper, who was Hughes' batting partner when he was
struck on the neck by a bouncer, was peppered with questions about the
opposition's bowling tactics, and denied the short bowling was 'excessive'.
Day one of the inquest had heard from the likes of Brad
Haddin and Doug Bollinger, who were playing for the Blues, and questioning also
focused on short-pitched bowling.
Cooper said that Hughes was not the target of overly vicious
bouncers at all, and that the batsman had handled it all well until the fatal
Sean Abbott delivery.
The Holland batsman said: "Yes, he was on top and they
were trying to stop him from scoring. He handled it with relative ease. There
were no worries.
"I guess he was targeted, but I wouldn't say it was in
an ungentle manly way. The tactic was used against him but it wasn't for any
other reason than to stop the run rate."
Australia batsman David Warner, speaking via video link from
Cape Town, also gave evidence as he was on the NSW team, and he said his close
friend had little trouble with the bowling until that one delivery.
Warner said: "It looked like he was in control of
everything he was doing. He was playing quite comfortably."